Bill’s House In Pokemon Should Haunt Our Nightmares

As regular readers of TheGamer (Gamies, as we call them) will know, I’m currently around calf-deep in my retread through Pokemon Blue’s Kanto. In my attempts to understand what makes the region so eternally compelling, I’m replaying the game in short weekly bursts, trying to take it in as a tourist rather than seeing the world as filler content in between battling and catching. Right now, I’m up to Cerulean City, and found the city itself to be deeply soulless and empty, but the surrounding areas to be so full of life and character that they make up for it. Within this surrounding area you’ll find Bill’s house, and while I did mention this in my travel column, I feel the need to go back and explore it in even more depth because seriously guys, what the fuck?

If you’re unfamiliar with the ins and outs of Pokemon Blue, Bill’s house is where we get the ticket for the S.S. Anne, which we need to complete in order to access the third gym. It’s a fairly typical JRPG trope – having it be the ticket to a cruise ship is novel, but essentially Bill gives us the key to the next major part of the game, which in turn gives us the key to the next major part of the game, and so on. The reason I am in the midst of revisiting Kanto though is not because of how inventive the gameplay mechanics are, but because of the story. It’s the way they tell ‘em, right? The only problem is the way they tell ‘em with Bill is through grotesque body horror, and I can’t believe I had never realised how horrifying this moment should have been.

When we arrive at Bill's house, we're greeted by Bill, only he's in the body of a Pokemon. Let's Go confirmed two decades later that the Pokemon in question was a Nidorino, which only makes it more terrifying. Nidorino is quadrupedal, but when Bill inhabits its body he is able to walk around on two legs, and yet we are completely nonplussed by the whole affair. In my regular column, I wrote about this moment in, well, the moment. About how strange it is that we go along with the explanation so readily, or trying to understand how a simple ten year old boy is somehow both composed and intelligent enough to help Bill out of this jam. But there are bigger questions at play here.

This is one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time. Bill might initially struggle to turn back himself without your assistance, but when he does, there seems to be no harm done to either him or the Nidorino. This could have huge ramifications for the entire world. The possibilities for scientific study of wild Pokemon have untold potential here, plus there are all the existential and ethical questions it raises. And, it would be remiss not to mention, we all know that there are some people who would immediately try to shoot their shot with Tsareena.

It also opens up an entirely new way to live. Would people decide to become Pokemon full time, or have changing into different Pokemon become a fashion statement? Would it become a plaything for the rich and famous, would people begin to experiment with splicing themselves, temporarily (or permanently) changing specific body parts to that of a Pokemon?

Maybe Bill just doesn't tell anyone. I mean, we talk to enough people after Bill and we never think to mention the dude back at Cerulean running around turning himself into Pokemon. Perhaps Bill prefers a quiet life of science and doesn't want to be the face of a generational breakthrough. Or maybe he's planning on shooting his shot himself. Either way, we really should be making a bigger deal out of the horror of Bill's house.

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